Ok, so January is over but you may still feel you want to be a ‘better’ you. All part of the seemingly never ending quest for perfection. Well guess what, perfection is a myth! Stop seeking the impossible and instead embrace reality.
The reality is that you are a strong person who learns as you go and that you can bounceback from setbacks and demonstrate resilience. Resilience, flexibility and bounceback are terms that graduate recruiters frequently say they want.
So, you are probably wondering, am I resilient? Do I bounceback from setbacks? Give yourself a chance to develop this skill. How? Look at your mind-set. Reflect on past experiences and think how you got through the difficult situations? Consider the learning you got from the process. To help you here are 7 points to consider…
1) What you cannot change – accept
Change isn’t always welcome but it is a constant of life. So, it’s all about how you deal with it. What you cannot stop -accept. How has change affected you? Was it all bad? What about your role models; how have they dealt with change? How did they let it shape them? Remember that we change in response to our experiences and this can be more in our perception of how the situation affected us. Consider what other life skills did we develop? Did we learn to be more effective in our negotiation skills or use our communication skills to help to mitigate or even express the outcomes of changes?
2) Consider all perspectives
How self-aware are you? Both self-awareness and determination improve with practice. Reflection is a tool, a process even. Consider what the situation is and what all the options are. Get other people’s opinions to give you a full view of a situation. Not just friends, but people who have no direct benefit from the outcome of the situation. Seek out the impartial and knowledgeable. Ask for information, perceptions and guidance. Remember, failure is a “thing”, an outcome, it isn’t you, a person.
3) You cannot plan for everything – be flexible
Planning is important but you cannot plan for everything. You have to be as flexible as possible. If you rely on having a plan what happens when things go wrong? Do you have a fall back plan? Do you have a plan B, C and D? Can you adjust your plans to fit the circumstances and others’ needs ?
4) Let it go!
Sometimes something that we did or the way we handled what happened plays on our mind, because we didn’t do what our gut instinct told us, but did what we felt was ‘right’ or ‘easy’ or even ‘expected’. Maybe we didn’t get the result we wanted and we carry that disappointment with us. Let it go! Stop letting it hold you back. Move on mentally as well as physically – you cannot stand still! The earth is spinning and you with it! Consider the advice you would give a friend in the same situation? Would you tell them to struggle on? No, you would say address it and if nothing can be done accept it and move on.
5) Asking for help is good
Do you want to ask for help but see it as a sign of failure? Why do you see it as a failure to ask for advice, information, another’s perception or inspiration? Again using the friend analogy, are they failures in reaching out to you? I doubt you feel that. You actually are most likely to feel flattered to be asked for help. Stop expecting yourself to know everything and understand everybody. We all need help. Asking for help is a actually a sign of strength – not weakness.
6) Time helps – if you let it
Consider how you will feel about this problem in a year’s time. You are very much caught up in the moment and need distance from it to be impartial and detached. When a situation leads to a change of circumstance it may lead to new possibilities and opportunities. Breaking up with a partner may make us feel overwhelmed and imagine that we will never be happy again. The reality is that we work through the emotions and in time move on. Eventually we remember the relationship with warmth and affection. Time will help you to accept change you didn’t want.
7) Remember – experience teaches us
Finally, life experience is a teacher and it teaches many things. Failure can be the greatest teacher of all as you will explore the processes and situations that lead you to here. Reflection will help you to deal with similar problems and enable you to move on.
A common sense approach to resilience is to keep a sense of proportion and perspective. Consider how you are treating yourself and be realistic, would you advise a person you care for to blame themselves for past mistakes? Well, then why are you blaming yourself? You cannot achieve perfection it is not humanly possible so do not beat yourself up for failing to achieve the impossible!!
And do remember the Turkish proverb: ‘A thousand regrets do not cancel one debt’.